I love a good trail mix bar. It’s easy, convenient and tastes great! I originally wanted to find a great recipe to make some bars for our camping trip last weekend, but a combination of procrastination and not finding a recipe I liked resulted in no such bars.
I was really surprised by the first few “healthy” trail mix bars I came across. Yes, they had some good qualities like nuts and oats. But let’s be real, two cups of sugar and a few sticks of butter? That’s a candy bar people, and that’s why it’s the ‘best trail mix bar you’ve ever tasted.’ I have nothing against candy or sweets (see my Candy Cookie Bar post for proof!), just not when it’s masquerading as a ‘healthy’ snack. If butter and sugar are the main ingredients, then let’s call it what it is!
Luckily I ended up finding a recipe more in line with what I consider ‘good for you’ and I couldn’t be more pleased with the taste! Granted it’s not as healthy as veggies and hummus, but it definitely beats those candy bars disguised as trail mix bars I mentioned earlier.
Instead of endless sugar, this recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons, as opposed to 2 cups…I’d say that’s a pretty nice improvement. Instead of butter, there is peanut butter (always a crowd pleaser) and the main source of the sweetness comes from agave. This also works as a binder to hold all the ingredients together. The other recipes called for 1/2 cup of honey in addition to the 2 cups of sugar…ridiculous!
The only negative thing I can say about these, is that we found it really hard to eat just one per day! Even though they are great trail mix bars, each bar is just over 200 calories (good calories, but still!) so you definitely can’t eat through a whole batch in one sitting…even though I really wanted to!
|(Printable Recipe HERE)|
1. In a medium sized pan, combine the peanut butter, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and agave (or honey). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Then set aside.
Be careful not to burn it, you will be able to smell it if it starts to burn. In that case, pop it in the freezer to slow down the cooking.
2. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients EXCEPT the dark chocolate chips.
3. Pour the honey mixture over the dry mixture and coat evenly.
4. Add in chocolate chips, being careful to not over- mix as this will cause the chocolate chips to melt.
5. Press into a parchment-lined pan. I used an 8″ x 8″ square pan.
As you can see, I probably put the chocolate chips in too early and they ended up loosing their shape. I actually really like them this way but others of you may prefer the fully formed chip instead.
6. Next, place the pan in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
7. After they’ve fully cooled, take them out and cut them into the desired serving size ( I divided mine into 12 bars).
8. Last but certainly not least, ENJOY!!!
I like to individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap then store them in the refrigerator. That way Chris and I can easily grab them on the go for a quick breakfast or snack!
After discovering how easy these are to make, how much better they are for you, and how amazing they taste, I think it’s safe to say we will never be buying trail mix bars from the store again!